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Aug 6, 2022 at 4pm UK at Stade de la Meinau
1 - 2
Diallo (65')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Diatta (43'), Diop (53')
Fofana (80'), Diatta (83')

Preview: Strasbourg vs. Monaco - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Strasbourg vs. Monaco - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Strasbourg and Monaco, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Another season of promise at the Stade de la Meinau begins on Saturday, as Strasbourg battle Monaco in the opening weekend of the 2022-23 Ligue 1 campaign.

Les Coureurs just missed out on a place in Europe last term, while their visitors have already taken to the field in Champions League qualifying this season.

Match preview

From competing in the lower echelons of the table under Thierry Laurey to challenging for continental competition under Julien Stephan, Strasbourg have gone up a gear since the arrival of the former Rennes manager last year.

With Ludovic Ajorque and Habib Diallo spearheading the charge while creative hub Adrien Thomasson pulled the strings from midfield, Strasbourg were tipped as Champions League contenders at one point before ultimately settling for a sixth-placed finish.

Les Coureurs were only three points adrift of Nice in the Europa Conference League qualifying spot and enjoyed a memorable 11-game unbeaten run between February and April, but failures to convert draws into wins contributed heavily to their inability to break into the top five.

Stephan's side ended their pre-season period with an eye-catching 3-0 success over Liverpool, although the Reds did put out a second-string XI amid their Community Shield commitments, and Monaco have already taken to the field in competitive action this term.

The appointment of Philippe Clement to the Principality hotseat did not look like it was about to pay dividends for Monaco last term, but a magnificent end-of-season revival ultimately allowed Les Monegasques to pip Rennes to a podium finish and qualify for the Champions League.

Clement's side were handed a far-from-straightforward opener against PSV Eindhoven in the third qualifying round of Europe's elite competition, and Tuesday's first leg ended in a 1-1 draw, as Axel Disasi cancelled out Joey Veerman's opener late on.

Nine of Monaco's last 10 Ligue 1 matches in the 2021-22 season ended in victory for Clement's side, who only managed to win two of their seven pre-season matches, ending with dismal defeats to Porto and Southampton before the draw with PSV.

Clement will almost certainly have the trip to the Netherlands in mind ahead of their opening Ligue 1 showdown, and while Strasbourg are normally a threat going forwards, Monaco have hit at least two goals in each of their last 13 Ligue 1 games away from home.

However, Strasbourg have developed a reputation as a bogey team for Monaco, who have only won one of their last eight meetings with Les Coureurs, and their two most recent visits to the Stade de la Meinau have ended in 1-0 defeats.

Strasbourg pre-season form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Monaco form (all competitions):
  • D

Team News

Strasbourg do not have any injury or suspension concerns to report ahead of their Ligue 1 season opener, and Stephan is facing a familiar quandary at the tip of the attack.

Ajorque will expect to start despite persistent links with a move to the Premier League, leaving Diallo and Kevin Gameiro to battle for the opportunity to partner the 6ft 5in Frenchman.

Colin Dagba and Thomas Delaine will hope to make their competitive debuts for Les Coureurs here, although Ronael Pierre-Gabriel will challenge the former for the right-wing back spot.

Meanwhile, Monaco will kick off the new season without Kevin Volland or Aleksandr Golovin, who are both suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards carrying over from last season.

Centre-back Benoit Badiashile is also dealing with a foot problem and is a doubt for the opening day alongside Myron Boadu and Willem Geubbels, but Sofiane Diop was fine to appear as a substitute against PSV. Left-back Caio Henrique could also miss out after a positive COVID-19 test.

Volland and Golovin's suspensions has opened the door for Diop and Krepin Diatta to force their way back into the first XI, while Jean Lucas and Ruben Aguilar could provide fresh legs as Monaco work around their Champions League commitments.

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Sels; Dagba, Djiku, Nyamsi, Perrin, Delaine; Aholou, Bellegarde; Thomasson; Ajorque, Diallo

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Aguilar, Disasi, Maripan, Jakobs; Fofana, Lucas; Diatta, Diop, Minamino; Ben Yedder

We say: Strasbourg 1-1 Monaco

Goals are never at a premium when Strasbourg and Monaco are on the pitch, and the hosts will aim to take advantage of the jellied legs within Clement's ranks amid their European exploits.

Les Coureurs are under pressure to prove that they are not just one-season wonders, but draws were the theme for Stephan's side last term, and we can envisage an opening-day stalemate here.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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